Cilantro Lime Quinoa

Get your fiesta on with this zesty cilantro lime quinoa. Gloriously gluten-free, vegan, and just plain delicious! Makes a great side dish or burrito bowl base.

Cilantro Lime Quinoa - 3 cups of fluffy quinoa with cilantro and lime!

Morning loves!

Today’s post is going to be a bit of a quickie, just like this recipe!

Everyone needs an arsenal of fast, easy, and healthy side dishes so get ready to toss this one into the weekly line-up.

With the refreshing flavors of cilantro and lime, this fluffy quinoa will compliment a bevvy of dishes and knock your typical pot-o-rice out of the water when taco night rolls around. I’m already dreamingup a behemoth burrito bowl with this sassy quinoa as the base. YUM!

Cilantro Lime Quinoa - 3 cups of fluffy quinoa with cilantro and lime!

Cilantro Lime Quinoa

vegetarian :: vegan :: gluten-free :: dairy-free

yields 3 cups of fluffy quinoa fit for a fiesta!

Need a little less? Feel free to halve the recipe! Feeding a crowd? You can easily double or triple as needed with no additional work. SCORE! Just grab a large enough pot and you’re good to go! Leftovers taste great and can chill in your fridge for up to 4 days.

So… what are you waiting for? Let’s get our quinoa on!

Cilantro Lime Quinoa - 3 cups of fluffy quinoa with cilantro and lime!
5 from 15 votes

Cilantro Lime Quinoa

Get your fiesta on with this zesty cilantro lime quinoa. Each bowl is gloriously gluten-free, vegan, and just plain delicious as side dish, salad topper, or burrito bowl base.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Vegetarian
Keyword Cilantro Lime Quinoa
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 126 kcal
Author Jenn Laughlin - Peas and Crayons


  • 1 cup dry quinoa (rinsed)
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves plus extra to taste
  • 1/2 lime, zest and juice (see notes)
  • 1-2 TBSP olive oil or avocado oil
  • salt + pepper to taste


  1. First rinse and drain your quinoa using a mesh strainer or sieve.
  2. Bring a medium saucepan to medium heat and lightly toast the quinoa to remove any excess water. Stir as it toasts for just a few minutes. This step is optional but really adds to the nuttiness and fluff factor of the quinoa!
  3. Next add your water, set burner to high, and bring to a boil.
  4. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered with the lid slightly ajar, for 12-13 minutes or until quinoa is fluffy and the liquid has been absorbed.
  5. Add chopped cilantro, lime juice, lime zest and oil and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  6. Toss to combine and taste.
  7. Add any extra cilantro, lime, or seasoning that your heart desires and dig in! 
  8. Leftovers taste great and can be stored in the fridge for up to four days.
  9. The quinoa will soak up the lime and oil so, to amp up the flavor, add a little extra dressing the next day and you're good to go! A scoop or two makes a fabulous salad topper or a flavor-filled base for a yummy burrito bowl! I seriously can't get enough of this stuff!

Recipe Notes

Craving intense citrus flavor? Add the juice and zest of the entire lime!

Nutrition facts below are an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. Adjust as needed.

Nutrition Facts
Cilantro Lime Quinoa
Amount Per Serving
Calories 126 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Sodium 4mg0%
Potassium 159mg5%
Carbohydrates 18g6%
Fiber 2g8%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 45IU1%
Vitamin C 1.8mg2%
Calcium 17mg2%
Iron 1.3mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Cilantro Lime Quinoa - 3 cups of fluffy quinoa with cilantro and lime!

Serve it hot or chilled (my favorite!) but whatever you do… get this citrus-flecked cilantro lime quinoa your face, stat!

quinoa serving suggestions

Making stuffed peppers? Fiesta up your filling and use cilantro lime quinoa in place of the rice. Easy peasy lemon lime squeezy!

You can even try them in these Baked Bell Pepper Tacos – my husband flips over this recipe.

Get your carnivore on by serving it alongside grilled chicken and sautéed peppers or keep things gloriously vegan by topping your quinoa with crispy taco roasted chickpeas.

Basically… anything goes!

Have fun with it and feel free to share a photo of your creation! 

Cilantro Lime Quinoa - 3 cups of fluffy quinoa with cilantro and lime!

Cilantro Lime Quinoa

craving more vegetarian quinoa recipes?

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Recipe Rating


  • Lynn Unger

    try toasted sesame seed oil instead of avocado oil for even more toasted flavor

    • Ooh lovely! I’m so trying that next time!

  • 5 stars
    Just made this, added black beans on top, and it was a delicious meal!

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks!

  • Linda Nortje

    5 stars
    I can never have enough side dish recipes ! Love your Cilantro Lime Quinoa and will be adding the recipe to our menu !

  • Sandi

    5 stars
    I love this quinoa salad with all of that yummy fresh lime. Can’t wait to try this out at our next cookout!

  • Dawha

    5 stars
    I just made this recipe and I add some nutmeg and avocado AMAZING !!!
    Thank you

  • Candice

    5 stars
    I made this for my in laws and my family this past weekend….SMASH HIT!!! Thank you for this recipe!

  • So glad you loved it! The roasted corn is brilliant!!! I’ve only ever added straight-from-the-freezer sweet corn to it but roasted sounds purely dreamy! I’ll try that! Thanks!

  • Sarah

    5 stars
    BTW. i made the recipe this weekend and everyone loved it!!! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂 it was delicious!! I added some roasted corn to it.. mmm

  • Sarah

    5 stars
    Omgosh this looks delicious!!! I am going to get the ingredients and make this today!! Thanks for sharing!!

  • Yay!!!! So excited you’ll be making it! Hope you love it as much as I do! Xo

  • I just did this same combo with brown rice. Genius idea to use quinoa. I might have tried that, except I made four cups of dry rice for a recipe that calls for 4 cups of cooked rice. Oops, I ended up with 12 cups of cooked rice. Ha, ha. Oh well, it all went into delicious things…cilantro lime rice included.

  • Brittany Trentham

    5 stars
    oh my… this looks amazing! Totally making this over the weekend!

  • Shashi Charles

    YUM! lime+cilantro+quinoa=total YUM!

  • FraijoManda

    5 stars
    Sweet! I seriously love cilantro lime RICE, I’m not sure why I haven’t thought to do it with quinoa. You are the twistomexicanerrything goddes I’m sure of it.

  • Tiffany @ The Chi-Athlete

    5 stars
    Yum yum yum yum yum yum yum yummmmmm!

  • Julianna @ Julianna Bananna

    this sounds so good! would be perfect for a mexican burrito bowl.

  • Katie

    5 stars
    Yum! I’m going to make this alongside some Siracha wings for Superbowl!

  • Amanda

    This looks so good! I feel the urge to run right to the store and make it tonight!

  • Christine

    This looks wonderful, I adore cilantro but have not been using it much lately for some reason. Adding it to my list, thanks!

  • Reminds me of good old Chipotle which is one of my favorite foods to recreate at home. This sounds like a perfect, quick side dish!

  • Jana Antil

    This looks so good! I have made homemade Chipotle bowls at home and created a similar recipe to this one for it! Cilantro and like is so so good!

  • yummmm i love me some cilantro (and lime!) xo jillian – cornflake dreams

  • you had me at quickie… i mean quinoa. 😉

  • Alysia @ Slim Sanity

    This sounds delicious! I love quinoa, I don’t buy it often enough though! PINNED

  • Maryea {happy healthy mama}

    Cilantro+lime for the win!! Love this.

  • Claire

    Wow Jenn this looks gorgeous! Love the sound of the flavours with the quinoa – lime, coconut and coriander (as we UK folk call it) are such a winning combo.

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